Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MMM06: Riverside Public Boat Landing
Elevation: 2244 ft. This boat landing provides access to a wide, rocky stretch of the New River perfect for exploring for wildlife. Similar to several of the other boat landings along this stretch of the New River, this site is decorated with a heavy understory of wildflowers, especially orange jewelweed, horse nettle, Queen Anne's lace and black-eyed Susans. While limited in number, the majority of trees that overlook the area are massive sycamore. The fields ring with the sounds of singing indigo bunting and song sparrow, while eastern kingbird dash from perch to perch. Search the quiet stretches of the river for green and great blue herons, while keeping one eye on the sky for an osprey flying downstream. The water's edge hosts a variety of damsel- and dragonflies, such as slaty skimmers, familiar bluets and ebony jewelwings, which hover along the margins. The moist areas near the boat landing provide an especially good spot for seeing numerous butterflies, including pearl crescent, eastern tailed-blue, spicebush swallowtail and a variety of azures and skippers.
From Matthews State Forest, return to US 58 West/US 221 South. Continue south 0.5 miles to the intersection of SR 94 and US 58. Turn right and take SR 94 north for 4.2 miles to SR 274. Continue straight on SR 274 to the Boat Landing almost immediately on the left. This site is viewable only by boat.